Let me tell you about ZUZANA...
Following last year's international success our Composition Competition is back!
This year we would like to celebrate the life and career of one of the world's leading harpsichordists Zuzana Ruzickova and her invaluable role in promoting pieces by modern composers on period instruments.
It all started with a book. July 2020, half-way through another lockdown I really needed something to get my thoughts off things happening back then. I picked up one of the books from my 'waiting to read' pile and OH MY once I started I couldn't stop reading.
Young, beautiful and musically gifted Zuzana Ruzickova was born in the Czech Republic.
It soon became clear to her parents that she had a special talent and love for music.
Unfortunately, like so many, WW2 changed her life forever.
Years later when people asked her how she survived not one, but THREE concentration camps she said "...it was a hundred miracles".
Now, this is a story of real strenght, passion and perseverance.
Despite having lost her father and most of her family, utterly damaged hands and an ever-changing political scene in communist-ruled Czechoslovakia...
She became the first person in the world to record the complete keyboard works of J.S. Bach.
Her 65 recorded albums and thousands of public performances from the early 1950s to 2006 have won her legions of fans and thrilled audiences across the world.
She became a beloved teacher and one of the greatest musicians of the 20th century.
"...you fall in love with music and you never fall out of love with music."
Zuzana won honours in many countries for her performances and her recordings of Bach, and she often said that it was Bach's inspiration that not only imbued every facet of her musical life, but the very spirit of her life as well. Zuzana had a wonderful marriage with composer Viktor Kalabis that spanned more than 50 years.
I'm extremely proud that this year's competition is supported by the Viktor Kalabis and Zuzana Ruzickova Foundation. During the pandemic we've been inspired by Zuzana's spirit and strength and we're honoured to name our competition in her memory.
Find out more about Zuzana here.
Want to know even more? Now you can watch an awards winning documentary about Zuzana's life here.